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Plated Subscription Review + Free Box Coupon – April 2015

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Plated Subscription Review + Free Box Coupon - April 2015 - Box

Plated delivers a weekly box of pre-portioned fresh and seasonal ingredients, everything you need to cook their chef-designed recipes at home in your own kitchen. Each week, they offer a different menu, and you can select which dishes you’d like to receive, how many plates of each dish you’d like to make, and when you’d like to receive your delivery.

Three of the dishes offered on every menu are vegetarian. Plated also regularly rotates in vegan and dairy-free options. They’re committed to using sustainably sourced seafood, seasonally fresh produce, and meat raised without antibiotics or added hormones.

Plated also makes it easy to pick recipes that best suit your culinary skill level and lifestyle. Each recipe is tagged with a difficulty level and clearly lists calorie content and prep time.

Plated Subscription Review + Free Box Coupon - April 2015 - Inside

Check out all of our reviews of Meal Delivery Services to see every meal kit subscription box option!

My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

Plated Subscription Review + Free Box Coupon - April 2015 - Contents

The Subscription Box: Plated

The Cost: Recipes begin at $12 per plate. 2 recipes (4 plates)= $48 per week (+ $6 shipping). 3 recipes (6 plates)= $72 per week (with free shipping). 4 recipes (8 total plates)= $96 per week (with free shipping).

COUPON: Get your first box free (4 Plates) when you purchase 2 Plates, no coupon required, just use this link

The Products: All of the pre-portioned fresh and seasonal ingredients you need to make chef-designed recipes at home in your own kitchen.

Ships to: 95% of the US. (Currently, Plated does not ship to Hawaii and Alaska, and there are also a few cities in Texas, including San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Laredo, and Midland, where they don’t yet ship.)

Check out all of our Plated Reviews!

Plated Subscription Review + Free Box Coupon - April 2015 - Menu

Each week, Plated offers a different menu with 7 dishes to choose from. I opted for a Tuesday delivery (03/31) and selected Beef Lettuce Wraps, Chicken with Fennel, and Ginger Trout en Papillote. When my box shipped, I received an email letting me know that I would need to have the following “pantry items” on hand: black pepper, canola oil, kosher salt, olive oil, and water. The email also clearly listed the difficulty level, cooking time, and calorie information of my selected dishes.

Plated Subscription Review + Free Box Coupon - April 2015 - Pack 1

Plated Subscription Review + Free Box Coupon - April 2015 - Pack 2

When I unpacked the box, I was immediately impressed by the care with which my items had been separated, wrapped, and packaged. Ingredients were bundled by recipe, and each individual item was in its own container.

Plated Subscription Review + Free Box Coupon - April 2015 - Sealed Meat 1

Plated Subscription Review + Free Box Coupon - April 2015 - Sealed Meat 2

The meats were all vacuum-sealed and packed at the bottom of the box, safely away from the produce and surrounded by cool packs.

Plated Subscription Review + Free Box Coupon - April 2015 - Soy Sauce

Even the soy sauce arrived in its own pre-portioned container.

Meal #1- Thai Beef Lettuce Wraps with Basil Rice

Plated Subscription Review + Free Box Coupon - April 2015 - Beef Card 1

Each meal comes with a card that provides information about the dish.

Plated Subscription Review + Free Box Coupon - April 2015 - Beef Card 2

On the reverse, Plated provides detailed cooking instructions, recipe tips, and a list of what you’ll need to make the dish.

Plated Subscription Review + Free Box Coupon - April 2015 - Prepped Beef Ingredients

I decided to make the lettuce wraps first because I wanted to use the lettuce while it was still crisp. It arrived in good condition, but I wasn’t sure it would hold up well to a few days in the fridge.

As per Plated’s recommendation, I prepped my ingredients before I started cooking. (Note that they even provide a pre-measured bag of brown sugar!)

Plated Subscription Review + Free Box Coupon - April 2015 - Rice

I began by boiling the rice. Once it was ready, I stirred in the basil and set it aside.

Plated Subscription Review + Free Box Coupon - April 2015 - Beef

I sautéed the garlic and ginger and then added the beef. While it browned, I made the sauce by mixing together the brown sugar, soy sauce, and sriracha. When the meat was ready, I removed it from the pan with a slotted spoon and added it to the sauce. I finished it by stirring in chopped water chestnuts and cilantro.

Assembly was easy. I topped each lettuce leaf with a spoonful of rice, some of the beef mixture, and a sprinkle of chopped peanuts.

Plated Subscription Review + Free Box Coupon - April 2015 - Plated Wraps

The lettuce wraps were delicious! The beef mixture was spicy and a little sweet, and I loved how the cilantro and basil added freshness to the dish. The portions were also generous. The recipe yielded about 12 wraps (of varying sizes).

Meal #2- Ginger Trout en Papillote with Miso Butter, Sweet Potatoes, and Snow Peas

Plated Subscription Review + Free Box Coupon - April 2015 - Trout Card

The following day, I made the Ginger Trout.

While I thought the recipe looked appealing, I mainly selected this dish because of the cooking technique. I’d never cooked en Papillote before (a French cooking technique that steams food in a parchment pouch) and have always wanted to try it.

Plated Subscription Review + Free Box Coupon - April 2015 - Trout Ingredients

After everything was cleaned and chopped, I roasted the sweet potatoes.

Plated Subscription Review + Free Box Coupon - April 2015 - Sweet Potatoes

I learned from my last box that Plated and I disagree on how long it takes to roast potatoes. (For this recipe, they suggest 15-18 minutes, but I like my potatoes soft in the middle and crispy on the outside, which takes about twice that amount of time.) Knowing that this time around, I was able to plan for the extra roasting time.

While the potatoes baked, I assembled the papillotes. Plated provided a large sheet of parchment that I cut in half. I folded each piece down the middle and placed a fillet of trout on one side of each piece. I then topped each fillet with salt, pepper, mirin (a Japanese condiment similar to sake), ginger, and miso butter.

Plated Subscription Review + Free Box Coupon - April 2015 - Parchment Trout

I sealed each parchment pouch by tucking and overlapping the edges.

Plated Subscription Review + Free Box Coupon - April 2015 - Folding Parchment

The technique seemed pretty simple, but I was still very glad to have Plated’s pictures to help make sure I was doing it correctly.

Here’s a picture of one of the sealed pouches:

Plated Subscription Review + Free Box Coupon - April 2015 - Palillotes

When the potatoes were done, I baked the papillotes for 8 minutes at a fairly high heat. Plated provided a helpful tip: when the pouches puff and the trout is opaque, they’re done baking.

Plated Subscription Review + Free Box Coupon - April 2015 - Puffed Papillotes

The final component of this dish was the snow peas. While the trout was in the oven, I sautéed them with sesame oil and scallions, and, when they turned bright green, I added the roasted sweet potatoes and a squeeze of lime.

Plated Subscription Review + Free Box Coupon - April 2015 - Snow Peas

I unwrapped the papillotes and plated the trout alongside the veggies.

Plated Subscription Review + Free Box Coupon - April 2015 - Plated Trout

I had a lot of fun making this dish, and I will certainly be cooking en papillote again soon. Plated made the technique seem easy, and I think it definitely adds a little panache to dinner. That being said, I thought this recipe was just okay. The fish and veggies were very fresh, which made for a nice, light meal, but I lost the flavor of the miso butter and the mirin behind the trout and ginger. I also thought the mix of snow peas and roasted potatoes was a little odd and not particularly special. In my limited experience so far with Plated, I’ve found their recipes to be dynamic and extremely flavorful, but, apart from the cooking technique, I didn’t find this dish to be all that exciting.

Meal #3- Braised Chicken Thighs with Fennel, Orange, Farro, and Red Rice

Plated Subscription Review + Free Box Coupon - April 2015 - Chicken Card

I got sick this week, and for a couple of days I was eating only crackers and orange juice. It wasn’t until Sunday that I was ready for normal food again, and I was a little worried (and curious) whether my ingredients would still be fresh. Plated recommends using ingredients within 4-5 days of receiving them, and Sunday was day 5. Luckily, everything still looked great. (Though I’m not sure all ingredients would hold up this long. I think the lettuce wraps, for example, might not have fared so well.) My chicken was okay and even the herbs hadn’t yet started to wilt.

Plated Subscription Review + Free Box Coupon - April 2015 - Chicken Ingredients

I’m not sure if you can tell from the picture, but I was sent a huge fennel bulb that yielded a mountain of sliced fennel. Not that I’m complaining- I love fennel!

For this recipe, I started by boiling the faro and red rice in salted water. While the grains boiled, I browned my chicken thighs in a medium hot pan. When they were seared, I set them to the side and cooked the fennel, oregano, and red pepper flakes. After the fennel became tender, I added in the cooked grains along with the white wine, chicken base, and some water and brought everything to a boil. I then nestled the chicken into the broth.

Plated Subscription Review + Free Box Coupon - April 2015 - Chicken Braise

I topped this with olives and sliced oranges and covered the pan. The chicken braised until it was cooked through, about 6 minutes.

Plated Subscription Review + Free Box Coupon - April 2015 - Cooked Chicken

When the chicken was ready, I plated the dish and topped it with chopped parsley.

Plated Subscription Review + Free Box Coupon - April 2015 - Plated Chicken

This dish was excellent and a great example of why I like Plated so much. I would never think to combine oranges, fennel, and olives, but the result was delicious. I think it takes a talented chef to come up with a recipe that utilizes such different ingredients so successfully. I’ll definitely be re-creating this dish soon.

Verdict: This is my second box from Plated, and I’ve been really impressed with my boxes so far. The meat and produce they send is high quality and fresh, and most of the recipes I’ve tried have been excellent. As someone who cooks regularly (and enjoys coming up with new recipes), I wasn’t sure if Plated would be for me. Initially, I was a little worried that it would feel like cooking with training wheels, but I don’t find that to be the case at all. On the contrary, I like the ease of cooking with pre-portioned ingredients and the Plated recipes. I think the portion sizes are generous, and I think the value is fair. I would compare the quality of the meat and produce to what you can buy at Whole Foods, and I think I would probably spend about as much there for the same number of meals. If you haven’t tried Plated before, I would definitely recommend it!

Have you tried Plated?

Written by Lindsey Morse

Lindsey Morse

Lindsey is a professional baker by day and a subscription box junkie by night. She first subscribed to Birchbox in 2013 and her addiction grew when she signed up for Graze, PopSugar, and Knoshy. Her favorite part about being a subscription box addict is discovering new products- especially gourmet goodies, beauty products, and kitchen tools!

All views in this review are the opinion of the author. My Subscription Addiction will never accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain affiliate/referral links. Read the complete My Subscription Addiction disclosure.


  1. This was our first week w/Plated, and we loved it! We also made the braised chicken w/fennel, and I thought it was great. It was a lot of food for 2 and we had plenty left over. Everything was well-packaged and fresh. Have already ordered for next week!

  2. Great review! I love all of the pictures or each step. I hope a box like this becomes available in Canada!

  3. I did two of the three dishes the same..ended up doubling the beef recipe with my own ingredients because there was no way that I was getting enough for my family out of the beef…loved the flavors!

    Loved the trout – I noticed that it looked like you melted the butter prior to putting on the fish – try just leaving it solid next time and mashing it all together – I think it gives more flavor to the fish that way.

    It was a little misleading that we got snap peas vice snow peas (snow peas are the thinner ones with no real discernible pea) – cooking times tend to be a little longer. But, I loved the flavor combo. My sweet potato was the smallest one I’ve ever seen – grabbed a medium one from my pantry and it ended up being the perfect amount.

    • Thanks for the tip about the butter, Jenna! I tried to soften mine in the microwave and it ended up melting a little bit. You’re absolutely right that it could have impacted the flavor- I hadn’t even considered that.

      And sorry to hear that your sweet potato was tiny! I’m glad you were able to supplement from your own pantry. 🙂

      • My sweet potato was tiny too! It was so small it seemed a shame to get a roasting pan dirty.

        I like plated, but I think any review is incomplete without a mention about the excessive amount of packaging.

  4. Thanks for the detailed review! This was our first week of Plated. Overall we did like it, but had a couple of ingredients that were not fresh and one wrong recipe card (thank goodness you can get the entire instructions online). I plan to send them some feedback on our issues, so depending on how they respond I think we would try them again.

    We also had the trout recipe and I loved it. I totally agree about cooking the potatoes longer! I liked the snow peas and potatoes together and thought it was interesting to try (wouldn’t have done that on my own).

    We are trying various cooking subs to see which one(s) would be our best option for super busy weeks or during weeks where the recipes look awesome. We thought Plated did a good job of sending interesting recipes with ingredients we don’t usually cook with, and the recipes weren’t too complicated for us to do with a toddler running around underfoot!

  5. Thanks for your thorough review. My husband and I cooked Plated anywhere from 3-6 night per week. We absolutely love it. We did the lettuce wraps a few nights ago, they were so yummy! (That basil in the rice! Mmm.) Tonight we are doing the chicken thighs with fennel and farro.

  6. Plated is my and my husband’s go to–we just LOVE it–made the beef lettuce wraps last week, and they were delicious. After some failings by Blue Apron (missing ingredients, super incorrect oven temperatures/cooking times, etc.), I just love how Plated has everything portioned out in separate bags with clear and correct instructions. And their dishes are elevated. Pretty amazing for $12 a plate.

    (The only thing I would note is that they tend to tell you to salt and pepper on every step of the way…don’t do that, of course! )

  7. I also disagree that sweet potatoes should only be roasted for 15-18 minutes. I regularly roast them for an entire hour. (Ah, well, at least that is mostly unattended time!)

    Still not quite sure I want to sign up for this — don’t want to get stuck with mushrooms — but what I have been doing is looking at the menus for the week and then trying to replicate some of them on my own. Last night I made farro “risotto” and braised carrots, which was sort of one of this week’s vegetarian selections (also I had everything on hand already so I didn’t have to go shopping).

  8. I love that you take pictures every step of the cooking!

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